I always hear the now trite argument comparing cars to guns, “Cars kill more people than guns, but we don’t ban people from driving!” This is of course a silly thing to say, first on the premise that we will never actually get rid of guns, second that cars are for drivin’, guns are for killin’.
Yet, I was intrigued…
Let’s follow the analogy. Cars are dangerous. We don’t apply gun laws to cars. So let’s apply car laws to guns. Let’s look at, “how to legally drive a car”, and apply those things to “how to legally shoot a gun”. Some of these are in place, but not all of them.
Before we get to even think about driving, car companies cannot make whatever car they want. They have to fit very specific regulations, as designed by the federal government. http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/fmvss/index.html
So any car that is deemed unsafe for the driver or general public would not be allowed to be manufactured and sold in the United States. This would be your “assault” weapons ban and mandatory safety features.
Now, I can’t just go out and start driving legally. Instead, I have to go through classes that take probably more than a month. Additionally, I have to go through hours of driving practice. Then, once I get that certificate, I can take it into a state office. There, I have to prove my identity with birth certificate and social security. I may have to pass another driving test, another written test, and go through physical tests like eye exams. Again, if I ever want to “legally fire a gun”, then I would need to do all these things for guns.
Next step to “legally drive”, I would need a car. Now I can get my hands on that federally regulated car! First, every car is registered. Every car has a VIN number. If I ever buy a car, I must get the title. Then, I must then register it with the state and continue re-registering. I also have to take it to a state approved garage to have it checked. So…same with guns, each gun must be registered and checked every other year or so. If it is deemed unsafe, then it is taken out of commission. You can’t sell a gun, if you don’t have the official title. If your gun is unregistered or reported stolen, then you go to jail for years…just like a stolen car. These procedures would need to be followed no matter where you bought the item. Gun show, online, or a new dealer.
There are all sorts of laws of where you can go and what you can do with your legal car. Then there are the rules of the road. You have different rules in a school zone than a regular road. You can’t drive something like a big truck on certain roads. Different rules based on where you are and restrict whether you can drive there. Just like the “gun free” zones.
Then, I’m required by state I am required to pay for auto insurance to help protect others and myself. It’s hard to subsidize the emotional damage done by guns to people, but maybe the insurance would cover hospital bills?
Yes cars are dangerous, and we have a bunch of laws at every level to minimize that danger. So yes, let’s make these the laws if you ever plan to legally buy a firearm and plan to ever use it for any circumstance. Just like, you would have to follow these rules for a car, if you ever wanted to drive it for either a one-time errand or a long road trip.